A Food Truck with Mexican Pho and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: March 22, 2019 Edition

Phorale, South Park’s Asian-Tex Mex fusion counter with a loyal following, makes a triumphant return with the grand opening of its food truck this week.

Matto Photo

This week, read about the return of South Park’s beloved Asian-Tex Mex fusion counter Phorale in its new life as a food truck; Korean-inspired chicken and waffles, poutine, and other comfort food from the new Ballard restaurant Watson’s Counter; a new all-day cafe called Bar Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island from chef Brendan McGill; and news of two upcoming Shake Shack locations for Washington. You’ll find all that, plus events for this weekend (like Plate of Nations and the 20th Annual Washington Cask Beer Festival) below. For more ideas, try our list of food and drink specials to try in March, our list of places to pick up food for a picnic, and our full food and drink calendar.

Bar Hitchcock
Chef Brendan McGill’s cozy new all-day cafe Bar Hitchcock, located next door to Hitchcock and Hitchcock Deli on Bainbridge Island, opens today, according to a press release. The space seats 50 guests and includes a 30-foot bar as well as a lounge area with a communal table, fireplace, books, board games, and vinyl records. In addition, there’s a bar program created by Erik Hakkinen of Zig Zag Cafe, with options for “spritz,” “restorative,” and “boozy” cocktails that will rotate seasonally. For breakfast, there will be dishes like shakshuka, a lox plate, and avocado toast with fermented chilis and radish, as well as espresso and pastries, followed by items like sandwiches (including porchetta, pastrami, and Carolina BBQ), harissa lentils, and wood-fired kabocha squash for lunch. From 4-10 pm, the bar menu includes charcuterie, steamed mussels, baked oysters, barbecue pork cheeks, fish sauce wings, and more. In the press release, McGill said, “The beauty of an all day cafe and bar is that our guests can eat, drink, and play with zero pretension. From brunch with your crew, laptop coffee shop time, a drink and snack at the bar, or a place to drink wine, play cards and listen to music…we’ll be open at least 14 hours a day, which creates a great deal of opportunity.”
Bainbridge Island

Blade and Timber
Answering the prayers of hatchet-lobbing lumbersexuals everywhere, the Capitol Hill location of the national axe-throwing chain Blade and Timber is having its official grand opening this weekend.
Capitol Hill

Hood Famous Cafe and Bar
The beloved Ballard bakeshop, famous for its Filipino-inspired specialties such as ube cheesecake, will host the official grand opening of its new cafe and bar, which soft-opened inside the Publix Hotel on March 4, this weekend. In addition to co-owner Chera Amlag’s well-known sweets, the new location also carries breads and pastries, as well as savory offerings from Amlag’s co-owner and husband Geo Quibuyen, like Filipino-inflected quiches with fillings like longanisa sausage and bittermelon. The bar features a coffee program by day and a drink menu with cocktails in familiar flavors like tamarind, guava, and ube by night.
International District

Izumi Ramen
This ramen joint, which opened in Pioneer Square and had its first Yelp review on February 19, serves a variety of Hokkaido-style ramen, with broth options like traditional tonkotsu, miso, and shoyu, and a selection of toppings.
Pioneer Square

South Park’s beloved Tex Mex-Asian fusion food counter, which former Stranger food writer Tobias Coughlin-Bogue praised for its “adventurous flavor combinations” and which closed in January 2018, is re-opening as a food truck and will have its grand opening outside Bar Ciudad on March 23. The new menu features signature sandwiches like “The Gringo” (sliced steak, sautéed onions, habanero bechamel, and Phorale sweet and spicy sauce on a house-made bolillo) and “The Fuego” (pork marinated with Phorale spicy sauce, pickled vegetables, and garlic cilantro mayo on a bolillo), pho with a sous-vide egg, and “munchies” like 12-hour sous-vide pork belly, Phorale fries (fries with a choice of meat, avocado crema salsa, and habanero), “sucio wings,” and “chimichino” (spicy pork egg rolls with avocado crema and salsa).
Various locations

Watson’s Counter
This restaurant, which opened in Ballard and had its first Yelp review on March 1, features a brunch-focused menu of nostalgic comfort food with Korean influences, including “cereal French toast” encrusted with Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes, chicken and waffles, loco moco, a Korean barbecue plate with pork belly and lettuce wraps, and “Korean poutine” (with braised short ribs or mushrooms, Beecher’s Flagship cheese curds, and red-eye or mushroom gravy on fries). There’s also a full espresso bar. Reviews on Yelp are positive so far.

Elysian Tangletown Pub
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer producer in the world and the current owner of Elysian Brewing, closed Elysian’s Tangletown Pub near Green Lake this week. According to a spokesperson for the company, the location will be spun off into a separate brewery called “Tangletown Public House” owned by David Buhler, one of the original founders of Elysian.
Green Lake

Shake Shack coming to Kirkland and University Village
Shake Shack, the wildly popular New York-based burger chain that opened its first Washington location in South Lake Union in October 2018, plans to add locations in Kirkland and University Village. The University Village location will feature an outdoor patio, while the Kirkland location will be housed in a development called Kirkland Urban with 14 other tenants, including new locations of Dough Zone Dumpling House, Caffe Ladro, Evergreens, Mud Bay, QFC, and an unnamed restaurant from Heavy Restaurant Group (which also owns Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, Pablo y Pablo, and Barrio, among others), most of which are set to open by August 2019. The timeline for the Shake Shack openings has not yet been announced.

Thompson announces new restaurant concept
The upscale downtown hotel Thompson Seattle, which closed its restaurant Scout for a redesign and rebrand in January, has revealed details about its new restaurant concept. The restaurant, called Conversation, will focus on human connection away from technology and may even feature a “tableside phone valet” who will gather phones from guests and lock them away during the meal. Executive chef Derek Simcik plans to highlight international flavors, including influences from his upbringing in Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, China, and Japan, as well as modernist techniques. The restaurant will open on May 1.

Upcoming restaurants reach crowdfunding goals
This week, Bar del Corso chef Melissa Miranda, who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign
for a brick-and-mortar restaurant for her popular Northwest-inspired Filipinx pop-up Musang, reached her goal of $75,000 with 26 hours left to go. In addition, Kamonegi chef and owner Mutsuko Soma reached her $15,000 goal for her IndieGogo campaign for her upcoming sake bar Hannyatou, which will be located next door to Kamonegi.

What if your sixth-grade museum field trip grew up to be the boozy evening of your dreams? Such is the premise behind this geeked-out craft beer fest, where you’re invited to imbibe as many four-ounce samples as you can handle from breweries and cideries and learn the science behind your favorite beverages. Talk to the brewmasters to get the scoop on their processes, take a toasty trip through the Science Center, and participate in hoppy hands-on activities and demonstrations that would make Bill Nye proud.

Pine Box Seventh Anniversary
In honor of their seventh year in business, the Capitol Hill mortuary-turned-watering hole will assemble an “epic” tap list and release their seventh anniversary beer: The Seven Nail, a “blend melding aromas of pine, strawberry and assertive Brettanomyces funk followed by flavors of tropical fruit and evergreen spices” brewed and blended in collaboration with the Pine Box’s friends at Firestone Walker Brewing Co. at their Barrelworks facility in California.

MARCH 22-24
8th Annual Macaron Day
Celebrate the colorful French confection in a variety of flavors like passionfruit and lime—all proceeds from macarons and macaron-themed T-shirts, totes, and posters will benefit Pike Market Senior Center, which provides a community and resources for vulnerable seniors.

Pedal to the Metal Fest 2
Fans of hair-raising brews can revel in a tap list of exclusively strong beers.

Plate of Nations
Every year, Plate of Nations presents a two-week-long opportunity to avail ourselves of the rich and varied cuisines of Rainier Valley, with shareable plates priced at $20 and $30. This year, 14 restaurants are participating, with Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Mexican, Mediterranean, and more represented in the mix. Among the highlights are Szechuan fare from Little Chengdu, smoky Peruvian charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken from Big Chickie, inimitable tacos from Tacos Chukis, and Ethiopian food from Cafe Ibex. “If you’ve never been to Cafe Ibex… you’re missing out on some of the best food in town,” former Stranger food editor Angela Garbes once wrote about the event. “South Seattle is where it’s at. Catch up.”

20th Annual Washington Cask Beer Festival
Lester Black calls cask ale “the most underappreciated beer style in Seattle,” noting that its “mellow carbonation, smooth flavor, and not-quite-cold serving temperature perfectly complement never-ending rainy days.” Try it for yourself at this festival featuring cask-conditioned beers from more than 40 different Washington breweries.

Asian Cajun Vegan Pop-Up
Preview 100% vegan Asian-Cajun fare from the menu of the upcoming Asian Cajun Vegan Food Truck.

Brouwer’s Cafe 14th Anniversary
The esoteric Fremont beer temple celebrates its 14th trip around the sun with the debut of a lambic-inspired wild huckleberry sour collaboration brew with Hood River-based pFriem, plus past anniversary beers and selections from the cellar on tap. And since the anniversary coincides with Orval Day, they’ll also have the famous Trappist beer on tap.

Grains Of Wrath Launch Party
Chuck’s Hop Shop will welcome the award-winning Camas-based brewery Grains of Wrath Brewing to Seattle with a selection of their beers on tap.

Heritage Distilling Co. & SeaBear BSB Smoked Salmon Launch
Be the first to try SeaBear’s BSB Smoked Salmon (made with Heritage Distilling’s Brown Sugar Bourbon) and partake in a flight of smoked salmon and spirits pairings. Plus, avail yourself of special pricing on bottle purchases.

The Hideout’s 14th Anniversary Party
The dimly lit Capitol Hill bar is lucky enough to share a birthday with legendary singer Chaka Khan, which means they’ll celebrate 14 years around the sun with an ’80s dance party.

Hood Famous Bakeshop Waffle Pop-Up
For one night only, inhale fluffy-crisp mochi waffles drizzled with syrups in flavors like calamansi.

Midnight Mecca: South on S E V E N Roundtrip
For the March edition of the sought-after Midnight Mecca pop-up, chef Tarik Abdullah and Damon Bomar of Brown Liquor Cocktail Co. have created a six-course dinner with cocktail and wine pairings inspired by “the cultures one would find along the number 7 bus line from the International District to Rainier Beach.” Each course and pairing will correspond to a different bus stop or neighborhood, with ingredients sourced from the international markets and stores located in each area.

Orval Day
Orval Day was created by Seattle-based specialty beer importer Merchant du Vin in honor of the famed 1000-plus-year-old Orval Trappist Ale brewed within the walls of Notre Dame d’Orval Monastery. For every glass of Orval sold, Merchant du Vin will donate 50 cents to the Safe Water Network, which aims to bring clean and sustainable water to communities like Ghana and India.

Poke & Pints for Public Lands
Nosh on raw fish bowls and quaff cold brews. $1 from each poke bowl from Big Boys Kainan and Food Truck and $1 from each pint from Hellbent Brewing Company will benefit nonprofit Washington Wild to support their efforts to protect wild lands and rivers in our state, and reps from the organization will be on hand to educate guests about issues and provide postcards to mail to your senator. Plus, Elias Kauhane will provide live music throughout the day, and Hellbent will release Pau Hana IPA Passion-Orange-Guava, a limited-edition beer with tropical flavors.

The Takeover
Each Saturday, Chop Suey will feature a different local food truck along with local beer and drinks on tap, plus raffles, games, and giveaways.

Temple Pastry Pop Up
At this tropical edition of baker Christina Wood’s pop-up bakery, score some pastries like chocolate passionfruit cruffins, roasted pineapple Danishes, coconut kouign-amann, guava and cheese pastries, and tamarind caramel cruffins. All pastries are made with sourdough cultures for depth of flavor and freshly milled, locally sourced flours.

Wink Doughnuts Pop-Up Shop
Start off your Saturday with gluten-free, organic, and plant-based doughnuts from Wink, along with craft coffee beverages from Ghost Note.

Breaks n Eggs: A Funky Brunch + The Griot Party Edition
Fill your plate with crispy chicken and waffles, sip a mimosa, and groove to music from recording artist and DJ Jus Moni of the Sway and Swoon Collective. The Griot Party, a collective of storytellers, musicians, and other artists, will provide performances by founder and poet Logic Amen, spoken word artist Elijah Mu’ied, and others.

Brunch With Musang: Fil-Am Edition Featuring Chef Jun Robles
Filipino chef Jun Robles, known for his Filipino-American pop-ups in Portland and who recently relocated to Seattle, will join Bar del Corso chef Melissa Miranda for a special edition of her Northwest-inspired Filipino brunch pop-up Musang.

Cookbook Club: Brunch Edition
Bring a dish to share from Smitten Kitchen Every Day and taste others, with beverages and tunes provided by the Works.

Fire & Ash: Greece
Chef Ash Stockham will make use of the Whale Win’s wood-fired oven and outdoor grills to recreate the “live fire cooking traditions of Greece,” with an a la carte menu that includes rice-stuffed octopus, skordalia (a thick Greek garlic dip), orange and fennel sausage, honey, olive oil, and more.

Hip Hop Lobster Night
You’ve heard of a rock lobster, but how about a hiphop lobster? This dinner from Ethan Stowell’s Marine Hardware pairs seafood and sides like Old Bay-seasoned fries with throwback hiphop tunes, with chocolate malt budino for dessert.

Northwest Women Stars of Food & Wine
This annual reception gathers tastemaking women chefs, winemakers, and sommeliers of the Pacific Northwest (and their fans) in the Columbia Tower for a night of bites and drinks. The lineup this year includes Monica Dimas, chef and owner of Neon Taco, Westman’s Bagel and Coffee, and Little Neon Taco; chef and “hummus maven” Kristi Brown, owner of That Brown Girl Cooks!; chef Nicole Matson of How to Cook a Wolf; Tana Mielke, chef and owner of Omega Ouzeri; Emme Ribeiro Collins, chef and owner of Alcove Dining Room; and many others. Besides food, there are exclusive tastings from sommeliers, plus wine, beer, cider, spirits, and a sparkling wine bar. The event raises funds for the SOS Clinic, a free urgent-care clinic in Walla Walla serving uninsured migrant workers.

Whiskey & Waffles Brunch
Trade the cup of coffee you’d usually have with your morning waffles for a glass of fine whiskey.

Wine Dinner at Cortina
Ethan Stowell’s newest restaurant will share five wines from Avennia paired with a four-course meal by chef Scott Siff, featuring dishes like fennel salad with pecorino, fontina ravioli, smoked pork shank with polenta, and torta Caprese with rose creme fraiche for dessert.

A Savory Vegan Pop-Up with Chef Joshua Ploeg
Touring vegan chef Joshua Ploeg will share his plant-based Northern European menu with Pacific Northwest influences, including inventive dishes like “magic items in a green pool” (greens and almond puree, vegan egg boat, smoky carrots, black salt almonds, curry oil, dandelion and dill) and stuffed cabbage and “fish” balls.

Le Coin and Dru Beer Spring Beer Dinner
Inspired by the recent spring solstice, Le Coin executive chef Joshua Delgado and Dru Bru brewery founder and head brewer Dru Ernst will come together to create a farm-to-table dinner with four seasonal courses and beer pairings.


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